Fall Report: ArkansasFall Report
It’s still fall, but Arkansas sure looks like a team ready to make a third-straight trip to the College World Series.
The Razorbacks have become an Omaha mainstay during the Dave Van Horn era, and the last two seasons have been special. The Hogs finished as the national runner-up two seasons before not skipping a beat last season with righthander Isaiah Campbell and others stepping up, and the team making yet another trip to Omaha.
Once again, the Hogs fell just short of a national title. But there’s no time for sulking in Fayetteville, as Van Horn’s club looks like a national contender yet again. Sure, there are some question marks. The Hogs might not have that bonafide Friday night ace they had the last two seasons with Campbell, and Blaine Knight before that, but they have plenty of options and welcome back righthander Connor Noland and lefthander Patrick Wicklander.
Everything else looks to be in outstanding shape for the Hogs.
“You know, after the fall, as coaches, we feel great about the depth of our pitching staff. I think it’s one of the deeper staffs we’ve had,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “Obviously the big question right now is who is going to step in and take Campbell’s spot? That’s a good question. We’re not sure we have that guy just yet, but I’m also not sure anyone expected Campbell [last fall] to be as good as he was in the spring, so there’s still plenty of time.
“It’s really hard to evaluate the offense right now because we had some guys hurt this fall, we took things easy with guys like Casey Opitz and things like that,” he continued. “But if we have everyone healthy and playing, I think our offense will be right where it was last season in terms of production. But again, right now, it’s about finding that No. 1 guy on the pitching staff. We’ll keep running guys out there until we find a fit.”
From an injury standpoint, the Hogs will be ready to go in the spring. Casey Martin continues to come back from a hamate bone injury, Matt Goodheart will be ready to roll following an offseason shoulder procedure and highly touted junior college product outfielder Braydon Webb was off to a hot start this fall before hurting his shoulder diving for a ball back in September. None of those injuries are expected to be lingering issues into the 2020 campaign.
There are no guarantees in the always rugged SEC, but the Hogs looks like a team ready to compete with a stout top of the lineup and a multitude of options on the mound.
Now, it’s about putting all the pieces together. Let’s check out the Hogs this fall:
Check out our full Arkansas report below!